Common platetailed gecko

Teratoscincus scincus

SUBFAMILY

Gekkoninae

TAXONOMY

Stenodactylus scincus Schlegel, 1858, I-li River, Kazakhstan. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Frog-eyed gecko, wonder gecko; German: Wundergecko.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

This species reaches 4.6 in (116 mm) in snout-vent length. The head is large, with prominent eyes. The digits are straight, without pads. The body is covered with large cycloid, imbricate scales (which is uncommon for geckos) extending along the dorsum of the tail. There are no precloacal glands. The color and pattern of these geckos vary, but they usually have brown, orange, or bluish stripes or bands on a whitish, yellow, or gray background.

DISTRIBUTION

Teratoscincus scincus scincus lives in southern Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tadzhikistan, Kyrgyzistan, and northern Afghanistan. T. s. keyserlingii occurs in eastern Iran, southern Afghanistan, western Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. T. s. rustamovi exists in the Fergana Valley of Uzbekistan and Tadzhikistan.

HABITAT

The habitat is sandy arid and semiarid areas.

BEHAVIOR

This species is nocturnal and burrowing. The enlarged scales of the tail can be rubbed together to create a buzzing noise that may deter predators. The fragile skin is damaged easily and can be shed to escape predators.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

This species is a generalist insectivore.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Females lay clutches of two hard-shelled eggs.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

These geckos are traded commercially as pets. ♦

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